Bansenshukai:Top Secret Ninja Texts

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萬川集海: Even in today’s hyperconnected world there are still things you can not find on the internet. One of these is Bansenshukai (萬川集海) which is a secret text on ninja which apparently had a few hand-written copies distributed after World War 2, but now is not available except in the Japanese government and some Japanese university archives. All my searches have come to the same result, that there is no English translation. If you do know of any translation then please contact me.

For those people who can read Japanese, you can see scanned copies which were taken at the Japan National Archives.

You can read more about the Bansenshukai here:

The Bansenshukai (Sea of Myriad Rivers Merging) is a multi-volume secret written transmission (densho) of Iga and Koga Ninjutsu. It was compiled by Fujibayashi Yasutake (also, Yasuyoshi) of Iga in the fourth year of En’o (1676). The Bansenshukai collection includes one volume of introduction, question and answer section, and a table of contents; two volumes on thought and philosophy; four volumes on leadership; three volumes on Yo; five volumes on In; two volumes on astrology; and five volumes on weapons. The Koga version has twenty two chapters bound in ten volumes with an additional one volume. The Iga version has twenty two chapters bound in twelve volumes with additional four chapters in four volumes attached to it.

The Bansenshukai is a written transmission of philosophy, military strategy and tactics, astrology and weapons that are identified specifically with Ninjutsu. Although the author of the Bansenshukai was influenced by Chinese thought, and even indicates a connection to Chinese military traditions, he presents the material as the ultimate accumulation and perfection of Ninjutsu knowledge—as the name Bansenshukai itself suggests.

A limited number of hand written copies of the Bansenshukai were offered to the public after WW2, but the publisher stopped producing more copies and there are none available for purchase. For those interested in reading the Bansenshukai in its original language (which is not modern Japanese, rather a form of Japanized Chinese called kanbun), some major national and university libraries hold a copy of the collection. 

Tasting with Sounds

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It’s now an accepted fact that our sense of taste is intrinsically linked to our sense of smell. But scientists now think that it can be heavily influenced by what we hear, too. Time to reach for Sounds of Skillet Bacon Vol. 2. The Smithsonian reports a new study published in the journal Food Quality and Science which investigated the relationships between music and taste. In a blinded experiment, 20 tasters reported that high-pitched music made toffees taste sweeter compared to low music—even though they were exactly the same candies. Elsewhere, a series of experiments carried out at the University of Oxford asked volunteers to match wines, milk and other foods with particular musical notes. They found that that sweet-tasting desserts tend to be matched up with high notes, while deeply savory dishes tend to be paired with brassy, low-pitched sounds. Charles Spence—an expert on multi-sensory experiences—has found that it’s even possible to sway our experiences of taste. Speaking to The Smithsonian, he explained: “We’ve shown that if you take something with competing flavors, something like bacon-and-egg ice cream, we were able to change people’s perception of the dominant flavor-is it bacon, or egg?-simply by playing sizzling bacon sounds or farmyard chicken noises.” So, what’s happening? Are we primed by advertising? Is it something to do with the way parents offer up food? Actually, it’s unclear to all these researchers why the effect exists. Which probably means you shouldn’t worry about it too much—just stick on your favorite falsetto-laden track and shovel candies down your throat. They’ll taste all the sweeter for it. [The Smithsonian]

World Economic Forum The Global Information Technology Report 2012

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The Global Information Technology Report 2012
This report is an essential read for all those interested in digital, internet and communication technologies.  One of the parts of the report which really resonated with me was about the concept of “Hyperconnectivity”.

Hyperconnectivity is a relatively new term that was coined in response to the rapid availability and broad assimilation of entirely new ways to communicate. Hyperconnectivity refers not only to the means of communication and interaction, but also to the impact this phenomenon has on both personal and organizational behavior. Hyperconnectivity results from a combination of broadband expansion, the proliferation of mobile devices and wireless access, the dominance of social media in daily life and, most recently, the use of the cloud for data and applications access. Hyperconnected communication includes not only people-to-people formats (as individuals and as members of groups and using a vast array of media), but also communication between people and machines and between machines themselves without any direct human involvement.

I agree we are already in a hyperconnected world with positive (such as ease of global communication, freedom of information, new business) and negative effects (overload and glut of emails and information).

I was fascinated with one of the statements in the report.
Hyperconnectivity has also given rise to a globalized “168” world (24 × 7 = 168)
Yes! We live in a 168 world now.

Over the past decade, The Global Information Technology Report series, has become the most comprehensive and respected international assessment of the preparedness of economies to leverage the networked economy. This research provides a unique platform for public-private dialogue on best policies and for determining what actions will further national ICT readiness and innovation potential.

Through the evolved methodological framework of the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), The Global Information Technology Report 2012 measures the extent to which 142 economies take advantage of ICT and other new technologies to increase their growth and well-being. This year, Sweden tops the rankings, followed by Singapore and Finland.

Under the theme Living in a Hyperconnected World, the report features expert contributions that explore the causes and consequences of living in an environment where the Internet is accessible and immediate, where people and businesses can communicate instantly, and where machines are interconnected.

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